Why did we develop the idea of delivering supplemental food right to the door of homes with young children?
The State Office of Public Instruction reports that more 50% of the school children in Skagit County qualify for Free or Reduced Lunch.
School personnel share stories of children arriving at school on Monday mornings too hungry to learn.
We interviewed parents at “Back to School” events and in line at food banks, where we learned many children are too embarrassed to carry a bag of food home because other children make fun of them. The parents reported feeling demoralized or angry when school personnel called to offer bags to be sent from school.
The children need additional food on the weekends, but families didn’t want to be “singled out” by the school and children didn’t want to be bullied on the bus. In focus groups, parents who self-registered children for CHOW deliveries reported feeling dignity and respect for themselves. They reported their children enjoyed and consumed all the food.
Each CHOW bag delivered means one child has approximately 5 meals (two breakfasts, two lunches & a snack) for the weekend. Success means these 600 children (approximately 300 in Sedro-Woolley and 200 in Mount Vernon) have a little extra nutrition each weekend. This means they are better able to learn on Monday mornings. Another success is that their physical health is maintained. The CHOW bag also reduces some financial stress on the family – stress that takes a toll on children in the form of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). CHOW is a stop-gap until families have higher income (and/or costs are reduced) to cover housing, childcare, and other basic needs.
HELPING HANDS SOLUTION CENTER
Providing staple food items to our community.
CHILD NUTRITION COALITION: SKAGIT 1095
Supporting programs to eliminate child hunger.
Helping Bring the CHOW program to families in need.
For more information: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Call: (855) 856-2211 ext. 3.
RIDING TO RAISE FUNDS
Sedro-Woolley teacher, Elizabeth Campbell Jenkins rode her bike across the United States in support of the CHOW program and other efforts to feed hungry children. Liz chronicled her journey in a blog entitled, Beautiful Exhaustion, where she details the people and places she visited along the way. Thank you Liz for your dedication to feed hungry children in Skagit County.